By Mariah McCloskey
Jacob Abel and Efrain Vallejo were elected to represent the School of Diplomacy in the Student Government Association Senate for the 2017-2018 academic year. The two senators-elect were part of the Reform Party, who were able to elect 12 out of their 18-candidate ticket. Endorsements from two Diplomacy organizations, The Global Current and the Seton Hall United Nations Association (SHUNA), helped Abel and Vallejo to best their competitors, Gabrielle Goldworm and Colin Kilbourne.
The official results were announced on the morning of March 30, while unofficial results were announced around 7 p.m. on March 28, the second day of the election. As long as the results were unofficial, they could be challenged for up to 24 hours after the first announcement.
“I would just like to thank everyone that supported Efrain and I throughout the campaign,” said Abel, an incumbent freshman senator. Vallejo, currently an ad hoc on the Finance Committee, did not respond to requests for comment, but Abel said he and Vallejo would “also like to let all Diplomacy students know that we are here for them if they have any issues or questions.” Their first order of business would be to start “extra office hours and attending club meetings so that Diplomacy students can get to know us,” he said.
Kyla Stewart, a freshman Diplomacy major, said she felt the new Diplomacy senators would “be more accessible and receptive” to her concerns.
The executive board was swept by the Simon-Reed ticket. Christina Simon was elected president, Violet Reed as vice president, Michael Roma as treasurer, and Josie Martinez as secretary.
“I was overjoyed that the student body trusts my team and me to serve them in the best way possible,” said Simon, a sophomore English and Philosophy major.
“The passion and seriousness with which our students took the SGA elections seems a fitting response to recent elections in the US and globally,” Dean Halpin said. She said the passion the candidates had “makes me excited for a future when our our passionate students will be our leading public servants.”
The election left a few students frustrated with the results, and some had qualms about the ballot itself. “Kainoa Spenser had his first name up for half of the election, and no one really knows him as Christian. Everyone knows him as Kainoa,” said Chloe Whitewater, a sophomore Diplomacy major, about the Reform Party’s vice presidential candidate whose first name is Christian. Whitewater said she knew he would have been great, but that most people most likely did not realize exactly who was running.
Many students were not expecting the results of the election. Emily Beres, a freshman Biology major, said she ended up voting for Amanda Moreira and Marlene Da Cruz as Arts and Sciences senators. She said she had voted for Chris McNeil, a Diplomacy major who was running for vice president. “I know Chris from friends and as a DA,” she said, referring to McNeil’s position as a desk assistant. Other than that, Beres said she “never really had any interactions” with the other candidates.
The new executive board members are “revved up to start working on our platform promises, or address any needs of the students,” said Reed, the vice president-elect. Simon said when it comes to student concerns, her team will “work diligently to ensure that their voices are heard.”